Working memory is essential, and it can be very frustrating to forget important information or tasks continuously. Becoming forgetful may seem like a normal part of aging, but it doesn’t have to be.
When you feel like you’re losing your mind to cognitive decline, Alpha-GPC can be a lifesaver. Not only that, but this nootropic supplement also offers some other benefits.
How does it actually work, and are the benefits backed by science?
- What is Alpha Glycerylphosphorylcholine (Alpha-GPC)?
- How Does Alpha-GPC Work In The Brain?
- What Are The Health Benefits of Alpha-GPC?
- How To Take Alpha-GPC
- What Are The Side Effects of Alpha-GPC?
What is Alpha Glycerylphosphorylcholine (Alpha-GPC)?
L-Alpha Glycerylphosphorylcholine or choline alphoscerate, is typically known as Alpha-GPC.
It is a phospholipid derived from sunflower or soy lecithin and is naturally present in small amounts in the body. When fatty acids found in soy and other food sources break down, the metabolites release Alpha Glycerylphosphorylcholine.
This nootropic is crucial and necessary for optimal brain health because it provides choline to produce myelin and protection of cell membranes.
Alpha-GPC is commonly known for its beneficial effects on Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia and is also used as a dietary supplement to enhance memory.
How Does Alpha-GPC Work In The Brain?
Alpha-GPC affects the brain in a couple of different ways to boost brain functions. However, the primary effects are likely caused by the choline increase.
Choline is an essential nutrient that is a necessary precursor for the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
Choline is found in food or supplement sources, but it is often challenging to intake more than your nervous system uses from a regular diet. Choline is also a precursor required for the formation of phosphatidylcholine (PC), which is used to construct cell membranes.
In fact, choline is so important that it would be impossible to function without it properly, and acetylcholine and choline are essential for brain health and memory.
The impact on the essential neurotransmitter helps the brain’s neurons communicate with each other, which can positively influence memory, learning, and clarity. It may also help to combat normal or abnormal cognitive decline.
Alpha Glycerylphosphorylcholine also impacts the production and development of cell membranes in the portion of the brain that handles intelligence, motor function, organization, personality, and more.
In addition, the benefit of the cell membranes within the cerebral cortex may also positively influence cognitive function.
Finally, while acetylcholine cannot penetrate lipid membranes, it cannot pass the blood-brain barrier, Alpha-GPC crosses it readily to affect choline levels. This activity makes it incredibly sought-after as the best choline supplement for mental abilities.
What Are The Health Benefits of Alpha-GPC?
There are numerous effects of Alpha-GPC that are supported by research in the science community, and many people strongly trust that it offers beneficial results, including powerful nootropic results.
Let’s check out the primary effects and the potential as a powerful nootropic.
Boosts Cognitive Performance
The improvement of cognition can be powerful, and it can help to negate brain fog and fatigue. Also, it can be an impressive addition to a morning routine to force you into increased productivity by giving you a boost of motivation.
Besides that, it can also improve cognitive performance enough to allow you to focus on the task at hand for a prolonged period.
Cognitive decline often correlates with the inability to concentrate effectively. Alpha-GPC is a compound known for improving mental performance and endurance by increasing attention span (2).
It can also provide users with the mental clarity that can help them get meaningful work completed. Some people use it to increase the speed of cognition as well. So this feature can help you beat a deadline while also improving the quality of work.
Another less pronounced result of Alpha-GPC is the increase in mental energy. While the research is limited, we have found that it seems to provide a smooth, natural energy in some individuals.
The boost in acetylcholine and choline is likely responsible for cognitive improvement. Many people like to add CDP-Choline, or Alpha-GPC to a stack containing racetams and caffeine for a unique combination of nootropic effects.
Related: What is a better choline source, CDP-Choline or Alpha-GPC?
Improve Memory and Learning Ability
Learning ability is one of the most well-known effects of Alpha-GPC, and there is significant evidence that it positively affects memory. It does this by impacting the mechanism related to aging changes within the brain (3).
Rat studies also show that the impact on memory could be significant enough to help with amnesia (4).
This is because some forms of amnesia and other memory impairment correlate with a reduction in choline and acetylcholine that Alpha-GPC counters.
Study results show that the memory-related results may be associated with neuroprotective features of supplements containing Alpha-GPC.
This could indicate that memories will remain in the brain for longer, which could have a positive influence on the ability to recall distant events.
Finally, Alpha-GPC may also have used related to learning ability. Studies show that this is because choline and associated compounds are essential for processing information.
It may also help with brain fog that corresponds with difficulty in the recovery of information at a later time that is required for proper learning.
Combining the abilities to learn and recall memories and other information makes Alpha-GPC a potential compound to help with studies, work, or mental productivity.
A stack of Alpha-GPC and Huperzine A is commonly used by students who have difficulty during their studies.
Increases The Release of Dopamine
Some research studies show evidence for Alpha-GPC being able to increase dopamine amounts. However, most of the research is on individuals who already suffer from dopamine deficiencies.
Still, there is a reason to believe that this benefit could be used for healthy people with normal brain functioning (5).
Dopamine is vital for well-being and a variety of essential functions of the brain and body. For example, it regulates reward, blood flow, pleasure, motivation, and more.
The power to affect dopamine may help treat mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Depression often correlates with lower quantities of brain neurotransmitters, including dopamine.
While the mechanism is not understood and human studies have yet to conclude, people often report improvements in their mood when adding Alpha-GPC to their nootropics stack. We have even found that taking Alpha-GPC may help with nervousness.
Dopamine may also be connected to mental and physical performance. These properties may combine with the effects on a person’s cognition to offer a unique usage role for health and wellness.
Supports Athletic Performance
Athletes and bodybuilders commonly use Alpha-GPC supplementation because it can improve athletic performance. In addition, it may help with the recovery after strenuous fitness or extreme physical exercise.
Research has also found that Alpha-GPC may help to improve explosive force production, which can help with sports and weight lifting.
In addition, the effects on cognitive function could also help foster a mental-physical connection that could help athletes improve their performance (6).
It may even help with athletic quickness and strength and help someone drastically improve their power output.
These effects may be related to the profound impact Alpha-GPC has on growth hormone levels. It could also be associated with choline because some evidence suggests that choline can affect the strength and mass of your muscles.
There is also evidence that suggests that Alpha-GPC may have a use in the burning of fat. The causes of this feature are still unknown, but many bodybuilders and athletes use the supplement to decrease BMI and increase strength.
For optimal nutrition, combine Alpha-GPC with other vitamins and workout supplements. This may help you improve muscle mass and recovery even more than only taking Alpha-GPC.
Raises Levels of Growth Hormone
Some effects on cognition may be related to Alpha-GPC increasing growth hormone secretion through the modulation of choline. At least one study shows a connection between choline and higher quantities of growth hormone secretion (7).
Growth hormone numbers are vital for building muscle and strength that may help prevent injuries, especially in patients with brittle bones caused by advanced age.
In addition, other study articles seem to connect the growth hormone with brain plasticity, which may improve with information processing and the capacity to learn (8).
Growth hormone quantities are also tied to many other mechanisms that are essential for health and well-being.
They can affect sleep, food intake, metabolism, and muscle recovery and repair and may influence the body’s healing process.
These properties make Alpha-GPC one of the best supplements for improving cognitive function while simultaneously offering effectiveness for the body.
Reduces Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia (Cognitive Decline)
A substantial amount of research shows the beneficial effects of Alpha-GPC on those with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia (9).
It is approved as prescription medicine in the treatment of age-related cognitive decline in several countries worldwide.
Its efficacy for increasing choline is well understood based on clinical trials that included patients with moderate Alzheimer’s dementia, Alpha-GPC improved memory, attention, and stroke recovery.
It has also been shown to reverse symptoms of acute cerebrovascular disease. Some expert reviews believe that some of these features may be related to improved blood flow.
For example, Alpha-GPC may be suitable for improving blood vessels to supply more blood to the brain. In turn, this means that it may enhance vascular dementia.
These types of diseases deplete choline, acetylcholine quantities, and Alpha-GPC can help to combat those effects.
Not only that, but Alpha-GPC is more effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease than choline supplements that do not readily cross the blood-brain barrier.
Finally, these effects may be so impactful as to actually prevent age-related decline or even ward off the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Experts who study these diseases are excited about Alpha-GPC’s potential in the race for a cure.
How To Take Alpha-GPC
Alpha-GPC supplements primarily come in capsule or powder form, depending on the source. Either form can be good depending on your consumption purposes and preferences.
Alpha-GPC causes initial actions within an hour after supplementation. However, it may take more time for many of the beneficial qualities to occur.
An analysis of patients receiving supplementation for Alzheimer’s found that it took 3 to 6 months to influence impairment positively.
It is important to note that many different factors can influence potency, but there are some average dosage guidelines to lower the risk of problems.
It is crucial for proper dosing to Alpha-GPC is around 40% of choline by weight. Therefore, a human dose of 1,000 mg Alpha-GPC will release dosages of approximately 400 mg of choline.
Unfortunately, these numbers are not always listed as the label doses information.
You may also want to start with a lower dose to gauge your body status and the behavior of the effects. Alpha-GPC can be effective for some at a dose of 200 to 250 mg.
For a cognitive benefit, we suggest a dose of 400 to 1,200 mg per day. This is usually enough for cognitive purposes. You can divide the amount into 2 or 3 servings throughout the day as well.
We have found that 400 mg in the morning and a second 400 mg dose a half hour before working down works well for improved athletic training or performance. However, as little as 250 mg may have work for some.
For the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders, increase the dosage.
However, the maximum dose is still 1,200 mg per day, and more than that is unlikely to improve capability. You can divide this higher dosage up as two 600 mg doses or three 400 mg doses for the best result.
What Are The Side Effects of Alpha-GPC?
Since Alpha-GPC is a naturally occurring chemical, it is generally safe. However, there are some side effects to be aware of.
Headaches and nausea are some of the most common side effects, but some people find that they also experience nervousness, heartburn, irritability, and diarrhea.
These side effects are often a sign that you have too much choline in your body and should decrease your dose.
If you are taking a low dose and still experience headaches, nausea, or dizziness, you may be susceptible to choline or ingest too much choline in your natural diet.
Some reviews find that people also experience vivid dreams with Alpha-GPC, especially when taken at night. You may also find that you have difficulty falling or staying asleep if you take it too close to the time you usually go to bed.
Alpha-GPC is an exciting substance that offers a wide range of outcomes that benefit both mental and physical health. We have found that it can provide energy, boost mood, and improve cognition.
Additionally, Alpha-GPC has such a profound effect on memory that it may be beneficial to use it for Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, it may be helpful to help those who are recovering from a stroke.
Whether you want to improve your work habits and productivity or boost your workout efforts, Alpha-GPC is an effective tool.
- Does Alpha-GPC make you sleepy?
Alpha-GPC can make some people feel more tired, which may be caused by the brain processing more information throughout the day.
- Can You Take Alpha-GPC Every Day?
Alpha-GPC can be effective and safe when you use it every day. However, if you develop side effects, lower your dose or take a weeklong break.
- Does Alpha-GPC give you energy?
Alpha-GPC can provide some people with a burst of natural, smooth energy.